Foster Youth Resources

Use the links below to find helpful resources for foster youth.

Foster Youth Educational Planning Guide

This guide is designed to help students chart their course to the college that is right for their interests and career goals. It also directs students to the support and resources available for foster youth scholars that can help turn their dreams into degrees.


If you plan to attend college, getting all the financial aid that you can will make you much more likely to succeed.

Santa Cruz Community Foundation Scholarships

Generous community members support the higher education dreams of students throughout Santa Cruz County through scholarships they start or support.

Casa of Santa Cruz

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are community volunteers who work one-on-one with children and youth in the foster care system. CASA volunteers devote a few hours a week getting to know one child and gathering information from everyone involved in the child’s life. Volunteers are part of a team that works for the best interests of the child.

Encompass Transition Age Youth Programs

Transition Age Youth Programs serve current and former foster, probation placement and homeless youth ages 15-24. We provide an array of programs and services including counseling, skills building, a drop-in center, and subsidized supportive housing. Our mission is to support and empower youth in making a healthy transition into successful adulthood.

SueÑos Program

Sueños helps teenagers and young adults (ages 16 to 24) develop workplace skills that will prepare them to enter and thrive in an increasingly competitive labor market.

John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY)

John Burton Advocates for Youth works to improve the rate of college enrollment, retention and degree completion among current and former foster youth and youth who have experienced homelessness through a variety of strategies.

Digital Nest

Digital NEST CONNECTS youth to a skill-building community that TRANSFORMS them into professionals who can CREATE successful careers, innovative solutions, and prosperous communities.

You applied for financial aid, now what?

Find resources for your next steps.

Your Future is Our Business

YFIOB is dedicated to providing every Santa Cruz County Student with opportunities to forge a path to a fulfilling and successful career.

Cabrillo Guardian Scholars

The Cabrillo College Guardian Scholars Program is a space on campus for highly motivated students who want to earn a degree, certificate, or prepare to transfer and are currently or have been in foster care at any point in their life. We are here to help students achieve their education goals and connect them with resources.

Smith Society at UCSC

The mission of the Smith Society is to create a cross-generational community that provides academic, personal, social, and financial support to UCSC students who lack the traditional family support afforded to most of their peers. Typically, these students have multiple adverse childhood experiences including, but not limited to, neglect, abuse, abandonment, or homelessness. Students may identify as being current or former foster youth, wards of the court, runaways, orphans, children of incarcerated parents, or children of parents with severe mental illness.

Renaissance Scholars at UCSC

The Renaissance Scholars Program is committed to fostering the professional and academic development of our community. In providing financial, personal, and communal support for independent students who have faced significant challenges or hardships, Renaissance Scholars takes a holistic approach to ensure the success and enrichment of our students’ university experience. By equipping our community with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful, we enable students to thrive while at our university.

Key dates and deadlines for applying to college

Important information about key dates and deadlines associated with applying to and attending post-secondary education.

Know Before You Go

The mission of Know Before You Go is to empower youth to become their own advocates, armed with the knowledge and information they need to succeed in work, school and life. Know Before You Go breaks down complicated issues and helps youth tackle the barriers they face.

Get the Job & Keep it Toolkit

This packet is meant to assist youth and their job coaches in the journey toward finding and maintaining a job.

Transitional Housing Programs for Current and Former Foster Youth

The goal is to help participants emancipate successfully by providing a safe environment for youth while learning skills that can make them self-sufficient.

CDSS College and Career Success Resources

Includes information and resources to support educational outcomes beyond high school (i.e. college, University, etc.).